What could be a better way to slow cook meat than using a charcoal smoker?
Not only will you be able to cook meat but you can also smoke fish, poultry, and seafood to perfection using an efficient smoker grill.
And with the best charcoal smoker grill, you will be able to cook tender, delicious food that is packed with flavor.
Smoking is very different from grilling because the flame does not touch meat.
Smoking slow cooks food until you get tender, moist, and juicy meat that’s perfect for any special occasion.
And with an efficient and versatile charcoal smoker, you can cook just about any kind of food you want.
To help you purchase just the right smoker grill for your needs, here are the top 10 charcoal smokers at a glance.
Quick Summary: Our Top 10 Picks
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Best Charcoal Smokers Reviews:
Here are the overall reviews of the top 10 most popular charcoal smoker grills:
- Keeps Authentic Smokehouse Flavor at Home:
Compact size charcoal smoker with 726 square inches of cooking space.
Don’t be fooled with the size of this smoker because inside is two-nickel plated 22 ½ inch-wide cooking grates.
The two durable grills give you a total of 726 square inches of cooking space, enough to cook several cuts of meat, a whole chicken, half a kilo of sausages or a dozen burger patties.
This charcoal smoker lets you cook all kinds of meat, fish, processed meats, fish and poultry without the need to use a full-size grill.
You can also keep this away easily because of its compact size.
- Heavy-Duty Cooking Grates:
The cooking grates are basically indestructible.
You can use these nickel-plated cooking grates for any kind of food because it will hold almost any kind of food as well.
And aside from the heavy duty cooking grates, you also have a heat-resistant nylon handle, porcelain-enameled steel body and aluminum shield!
- Uses affordable and easily available charcoal.
- Has a built-in thermometer.
- With porcelain-enameled water pan.
- With heavy-duty cooking grates.
- May be used as a water smoker or a dry smoker.
- Complaints of limited cooking space.
- Complaints of the ill-functioning thermometer.
- Complaints of poorly-fitting lid.
- With a Classic Charcoal Grill Design:
The Weber 14402001 Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill has a cool classic charcoal grill design that will stick to traditional backyard barbecue styles.
You will find this easy to use and also versatile so you can use it to cook, grill, and smoke almost all kinds of food.
You can even cook different kinds of food at the same time.
- With One-Touch Cleaning System:
The one-touch cleaning system is made of aluminum steel makes it easier to clean the grill after you cook as well as before you start firing the grill up.
It is made of aluminum so it’s durable and will be easier to maintain.
- With Heavy-Duty Porcelain-Enameled Bowl and Lid:
The large, heavy-duty bowl and lid are made of porcelain which will last for as long as you want to grill or barbecue.
The lid also efficiently retains temperature and smoke so you can efficiently tenderize and cook meats, fish, poultry, burgers, and sausages easily.
- With versatile hinged cooking grates.
- With a classic kettle charcoal grill and smoker design.
- With a built-in lid thermometer to monitor food better.
- With durable porcelain-enameled bowl and lid.
- Easy to clean with removable high-capacity ash catcher.
- Some users found this very hard to assemble.
- Complaints of ill-fitting lids.
- The lid does not fit well to be used as a charcoal smoker.
- Compact & Easy to Use:
This is a grill and smoker that is ideal for small apartments, small decks and patios and for smoking or grilling only a small amount of food.
The Char-Griller 1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill is easy to fire up and to maintain.
- Durable Materials & Heavy Steel Construction:
The grates are made from cast iron making it very durable and in fact, when maintained well, will last for a lifetime.
The grill body itself is made from heavy steel. This might be heavy but will obviously last because it is one of the most durable materials.
- Easy to Clean With Easy Dump Ash Pan:
There is no need to tip the grill over just to remove ash and disposable material at the bottom of the grill body.
A convenient ash pan is located at the bottom of the pan will let you clean the grill more efficiently.
- Durable, cast iron grates.
- With double bottom for ultimate heat and temperature retention.
- With adjustable clampers and is easy to clean.
- Convenient wooden side shelf to hold ingredients.
- Cook almost all kinds of food.
- Very limited cooking space.
- Complaints that it was so hard to put together.
- This model has no thermometer.
- This model has lacks a built-in thermometer. A handy meat thermometer or cooking thermometer.
- Should be used to accurately measure temperature.
- Heavy Gauge Steel Construction Will Let You Grill Rorever:
The Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw is one of the best charcoal smoker or charcoal grill because it is built to last.
You can use it to grill all kinds of food: chicken, meats, sausages, vegetables, and fish and it could smoke a number of foods as well.
The grill body is large and very strong making it a good addition to your outdoor cooking appliance collection.
- Large 1063 Square Inches of Cooking Area:
One of the reasons why this has been voted as one of the best charcoal smoking grills is that it has a large 1063 square inches of cooking space.
With this large cooking area, you can cook a variety of food and can smoke different kinds of meats, poultry, fish, and veggies as well.
- With an Airtight Flanged Hood to Keep Temperature Locked In:
Only a few grills and smokers have flanged covers and hoods and this one has one.
This will effectively keep the temperature in and help keep flavors circulating inside the grill body. The design is a good one for smoking food as well.
- With cast-iron cooking grates which are very durable.
- With very large cooking area.
- With a double bottom for added support.
- Easy to add coals and to fire up without removing the grate.
- Easy to clean and maintain with the dump ash pan.
- Grease can accumulate at the top cover and drips when you open it.
- Non-durable wheels.
- Not too durable wooden shelving.
This grill is very heavy and together with a full load of food and charcoal it could get heavier and therefore its wheels could break as a result.
Some users have even gone as far as replacing the original wheels with more durable wheels.
- Get a Taste of Kamado-Style Grilling with the Char-Griller 56720:
You will be able to sear meat and cook chicken or meat to tender with the Char-Griller 56720.
It retains high heat but will also let you enjoy a slow and low roast.
It is a roaster, griller, and smoker that will last for a long time because of its solid construction, triple-walled insulation, and adjustable dampers.
- Easy to Use Temperature Control:
You will be able to easily adjust the temperature inside the grill using the top and bottom dampers as you grill, smoke, or cook.
The design is also fuel-efficient and therefore you can save on charcoal when you use this charcoal smoker and grill.
- Made from Very Durable Materials; Treated for Heavy Duty Use:
There is no doubt that this smoker is made to last.
It is from very durable materials that will allow you to retain heat and use it for smoking and grilling all kinds of food.
The triple-walled insulation lets you cook and grill even the thickest chunks of meat while the cast-iron cooking grates will hold all kinds of food easily.
- With top and bottom adjustable dampers for even air flow.
- With triple-walled insulation to retain heat better.
- This is easy to clean with removable ash pan.
- Will maintain temperatures of 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
- With large 8-inich front wheels with locking rear casters.
- Complaints that the thermometer is way off and non-adjustable.
- Complaints of missing parts and dents.
- Complaints that it could become too hot fast.
- Made Durable with Heavy-Gauge Steel Charcoal Grate:
The Weber 14501001 Master-Touch is made from the most durable materials and therefore you can guarantee that these will last for as long as you want to grill.
The charcoal grate alone is made from heavy-gauge steel which means that this will remain durable and will take any kind of food.
- Heavy-Duty, Will Let You Grill Any Time with Porcelain-Enameled Grill Body:
This grill has a porcelain-enameled body which is very durable and will also last for a long time.
You can cook, grill, smoke, sear, and barbeque without any worries because the grill body will be able to retain heat and temperature each time.
- Removable Ash Catcher for Easy Cleaning:
The removable ash catcher lets you clean the grill body easily.
No need to turn the grill to the side; all you need to do is to remove the ash catcher tray and throw away the ash or debris.
You can easily clean the inside with a scouring pad or cloth and the dirt will also accumulate in the tray and can be easily disposed of as well.
- With heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate.
- With built-in lid thermometer to monitor food easily.
- With durable porcelain-enameled bowl and lid.
- With removable, high capacity aluminum ash catcher.
- With aluminized steel one-touch cleaning system.
- Lacks accessories that comes with your purchase.
- Complaints that it is too hard to assemble.
- Complaints that the thermometer breaks easily.
- Traditional Charcoal Grill Design with Firebox for Texas Barbeque:
This is a charcoal grill that will let you multitask; you can smoke, cook and grill different kinds of food at the same time.
This is one of the best charcoal smoker and griller because it can smoke and cook meat and retain its natural flavor.
Add spices and herbs to achieve that awesome Texas-style barbecue and cook it really slow; this charcoal grill will let you cook without a fuss.
- Made from Very Durable Materials:
This charcoal grill is very durable because it is made from heavy-gauge powder-coated steel.
You will be hosting barbecues and smoking all kinds of meat, chicken, and sausages without worries.
You can use this grill over and over again, for any occasion or family event.
- With Large 580 Square Inch Cooking Area to Cook all Kinds of Food:
As you can see this grill can hold a lot of food on its large 580 square inch cooking area.
You can cook, grill, or smoke a whole chicken, large cuts of meat, fish or poultry, and even large sausages at the same time and still get the best results.
- Let’s you enjoy home cooked Texas style barbeque.
- Made of very durable materials.
- Removable charcoal drawers to add charcoal easily.
- With temperature gauge to cook meat and other food more efficiently.
- Has a large cooking area to let you cook all kinds of food at one time.
- No warming racks to let you warm food.
- Complaints that it was difficult to assemble.
- Small & Compact but with a Large 510 Square Inches of Cooking Space
This might be the best vertical smoker and grill you have been looking for.
It looks compact and small but once you open the lid, a large 510-square inch cooking and smoking space await you.
You will be able to cook a variety of foods and smoke two kinds of food inside this vertical smoker.
- With Top and Bottom Vents to Instantly Adjust Heat:
Control temperature easily using this smoker’s top and bottom vents.
These will let you cook, grill, or smoke your food to perfection.
The bottom and top vents also allow even heat distribution and will let you tenderize even large cuts of meat and poultry in a more efficient way.
- Can Cook & Smoke All Kinds of Food Despite Its Size:
Again, don’t let its small and compact size fool you because the Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical Charcoal Smoker will let you cook all kinds of food minus the full.
And because it is easy to take anywhere, you can grill outdoors, at the beach, at the park, and even when you camp out.
- You can smoke all kinds of food.
- Comes with two air vents for improved heat control.
- Capable of cooking and smoking two kinds of food with smoking tiers.
- Portable and compact but with large cooking space.
- Durable materials are built to last.
- Complaints that it was very hard to assemble.
- Can become too hot to handle.
- Complaints that it still lacks cooking space.
- With Durable Porcelain-Coated Smoking Racks:
These smoking racks are durable and can withstand high temperatures when cooking a variety of food.
You can use this to cook, grill, sear or smoke meat, fish, poultry, or vegetables.
- With Efficient Front-Access Door for Loading Charcoal:
You can add charcoal or wood chips anytime because of the front access door.
No need to drop the coals inside as the food cooks and it is also easy to clean with this access door.
- With Built-In Thermometer so You Can Easily Monitor Cooking Temperatures:
Monitor the temperature of your food accurately.
With the thermometer, you don’t need to open the door time and again to check because this can affect the cooking temperature inside the grill.
- Compact but with adequate cooking space to cook different foods.
- With durable porcelain-coated smoking racks, charcoal pan and water bowl.
- With built-in lid thermometer for a more accurate temperature reading.
- Can be used to cook a variety of foods.
- Very durable and easy to clean.
- No airflow to the charcoal chamber.
- Complaints that it was too hard to assemble.
- Lacks a grate in the charcoal pan to keep chips out of the ashes.
- Can Work With Charcoal & LP Gas:
The Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo is versatile smoker and grill because it can work on LP gas and charcoal.
You can even use the two cooking chambers at the same time.
- Large 1.060 Total Square-Inch Cooking Surface:
This grill has one of the largest cooking surfaces.
This will let you cook as many kinds of food at the same time and food will still come out evenly cooked, tender, and juicier.
- Durable Cast Iron Grates:
The cast iron gates are very durable and in fact will hold as much food as you need to grill or smoke.
You can cook large cuts of meat or fish, or how about grilling two large chickens at the same time?
These are all possible when you use this Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker Combo.
- With 3 x 12,000 BTU burners in the gas grilling chamber.
- May be used for charcoal or gas cooking, grilling, or smoking.
- With durable, porcelain-covered grates.
- With a very large 1,060 total square inch cooking surface.
- With wheels for easy transport and storage areas for the gas tanks and other supplies.
- Grill body easily rusts.
- Complaints that it was hard to assemble.
- Complaints that it was hard to maintain.
Best Charcoal Smokers – Buyer’s Guide:
Many best charcoal smokers are available in the market. You can purchase them from shops or can order them online. From both places, you get the same product depending upon your choice.
Here are some factors that you should remember before buying a charcoal smoker. These factors can make any normal charcoal the best one.
Let’s have a look at these features so that you can easily select the best charcoal smoker for you and get a true return for your money.
Portability is one of the things that makes a normal smoker the best. It allows you to cook food at any place. Moreover, if you have a large gathering then to avoid the smoke you can cook at another place.
When you have done cooking you can bring the smoker to the gathering to serve food. In this way, you can keep the audience away from smoke and make the environment clean.
Also, if you love traveling or picnics, a portable charcoal smoker helps you a lot. With the help of a portable smoker, you can install it anywhere outside the house.
Remember one thing you can only take the small-size smokers with you during traveling. Charcoal smokers do not need any electrical connection to cooking food.
For this reason, you should always select portable charcoal smokers for the outing as they reduced your many efforts. If we talk about heavyweight smokers, they are not good to use while traveling.
You should only buy them when you have large gatherings. If they are portable then you can only move them inside the home. This portability feature helps you when you want to change the location of the smoker.
Also, if the smoker has wheels you can easily move them. With the help of wheels, you can easily clean the smoker as you can wash it in a separate place without creating more mess.
The quality of the material defines the durability of the charcoal smoker. If a good material is used then the smoker has high durability.
But if the low-quality material is used in the construction then the smoker’s durability is very low. High-quality steel is used in the construction of heavy-duty smoker.
Due to this reason, many people prefer a large smoker. Also, the charcoal smoker becomes heavy. While the normal smoker is made up of low-quality material.
They are available at a low price but stops working in a short time. But if we see heavy-duty smokers, we can say that they last for a long time.
To prevent steel from rust best charcoal smokers apply a good coating layer. Some famous brands in the market provide good quality material.
If you are buying a new charcoal smoker then select one of the trusted brands. Also, you can read reviews about the product when you get confused among trusted famous brands.
People reviews help you a lot as they clear all your confusion and you get all the information about the pros and cons of the smoker.
A warranty helps you to regain your money if the smoker does not work or has a fault. Warranty can be for short-term or long-term. It depends on the manufacturer.
Due to this reason, some products come with a warranty or some do not have a warranty. If you buy a Weber charcoal smoker then you get a warranty of 10 years.
The type of warranty is long-term. Most of the time people forget about it when they buy a charcoal smoker. But it is also an important factor to remember.
If the product has a long-term warranty then it means it is made up of good quality material or in simple words the product is durable.
User manual helps you to install the charcoal smoker. If you do not anything about the smoker then this is an important factor that you should consider while buying the smoker.
It contains the details of all components and how to run a smoker. You can easily take help from the manual as they give a step by step guide from scratch.
If you have a manual you do not have to ask anyone or google anything. You can get your answers from the user manual. You can easily grill anything even if you are a beginner.
With the help of a user manual, you can cook like an expert and serves delicious food. Besides the guide, it tells you about all the precautions.
To successfully use a charcoal smoker, it is necessary to follow the manual. Otherwise, there are chances of a mishap.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Based on our review, the Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain Cooker is the best charcoal smoker of 2018 simply because of its excellent design and features.
It is made from premium-grade materials and therefore it’s very durable.
You can cook almost any kind of meat, fish, poultry, sausages, vegetables, or seafood easily and more efficiently. It is compact and easy to take anywhere.
It is portable, efficient, durable and very easy to use truly a good charcoal smoker to try this 2018.